East Side Storytellin’ 89: the night Emilia skipped her bed time to hear Erica Wright and Luke Amelang do their thing

Tom Eizonas, Erica Wright, Daniel Seymour, Luke Amelang, Chuck Beard, and Jeff Blaney

Tom Eizonas, Erica Wright, Daniel Seymour, Luke Amelang, Chuck Beard, and Jeff Blaney

Thank YOU, thank YOU, thank YOU. Hello Again! Welcome to another wonderful collaboration between East Side Story and The Post. Let me be the first to officially, whole-heartedly welcome you to recap and recording of the 89th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 88, I repeat … 88, previous shows East Side Story has put together, we all decided to take a break from our busy schedules all over town in order to sit back and relax and get everyone cultured up just right in the form of a Nashville writer reading from original prose, followed by an amazing local musician performing and talking about their original music, and then a round-up creative conversation with all featured guests of this event to talk about their individual journeys and personal ties to Nashville. Without further ado, fulfilling the entertainment portion of your day, this is the recap and recording of East Side Storytellin’ 89. Let us begin, again.

The first featured artist of the night is gentlewoman and a scholar. She studied at Webb School, NYU, and Columbia University, to name a few. Her debut novel, The Red Chameleon, was one of O, The Magazine’s Best Books of Summer 2014, so you know this girl can write. She is also the author of a crime novel called, The Granite Moth, and the poetry collections Instructions for Killing the Jackal and All the Bayou Stories End with Drowned. Her poems have appeared in Blackbird, Crazyhorse, Drunken Boat, and Spinning Jenny, again, to name a few. She is the poetry editor and senior editor at Guernica Magazine and has taught creative writing at Marymount Manhattan College and NYU’s continuing studies program. Yes, she is quite the slacker. Born and raised in Wartrace, TN, I was beyond excited to introduce another great Tennessee girl done good in Erica Wright.

Erica was the first featured writer that has come to East Side Storytellin’ having been majorly published for her poetry and fiction work. There were a handful of fans of her poetry in the crowd, fellow local poets who have been featured on our show and others yet to come. That said, there was one fan of hers, one on crutches, who didn’t care what she read. She was her woo-hoo fangirl who excitedly awaited whatever Erica was bringing to the podium. I won’t reveal names or pictures of said fans, but I will say that the energy was perfect.

Erica chose to read from her latest novel, The Granite Moth. It is a novel set in New York, and it is a detective doozy. It begins with a float exploding during the famous Halloween Parade. Erica set the intro up with the backstory of the protagonist, an undercover police officer, who sees the explosion while her friend and his fellow drag queens from The Pink Parrot are performing. Let me just say, with Elton John cover songs and jugglers, it was quite the teaser for anyone and everyone to get her book (you can buy it at East Side Story, today, by the way).

Our featured musician is more than a unique voice in modern country music. He is also a mutual friend to one of my all-time favorite Nashvillians and artist, Carl Carbonell. We miss you, Carl. May you rest in Utah, your new home. Now, back to the musician at hand. This guy’s writing is based in the traditions of southern folk, blues, and traditional country. You can check out his albums, two and growing, called The Farm and In the Garden, respectively. From ballads of love and loss to swinging numbers about sasquatches and aliens, this guy is sure to fit in nicely with our East Side Storytellin’ family, always searching for the common thread of life that bonds us all together. Alongside his talented friends, Jeff Blaney and Daniel Seymour, it was an absolute honor to introduce the the new dad (father of one very special audience member, Emilia, experiencing her first concert outside of the womb), the one and only Luke Amelang!

Where Luke and the boys began the set with a song that was written by Luke as a message for himself and Nashville, his second song, I’ve Got It Made, is officially my new favorite jam and personal philosophy. You can hear the track below. Seriously, it is amazing and just what I needed to hear these days. But they didn’t stop there.

Luke and Daniel and Jeff, played songs about family farm dogs named Leroy, a beautiful and moving song written about Luke’s mother, God rest her soul, and then went into the less serious but just as poignant song about media not covering the sasquatches and aliens in his backyard (more stories to come from that in the future for sure). It was a set that was filled with love, family, dogs, the unnatural and unbelievable, and everything in between. And, not only did it sound like a mix between the best jazz you’ll hear in this city and the best old country music sounds that once put this city on the map but randomly finds its way on the country radio these days, it was perfect.

After the music ended, I was yet again granted the opportunity to gather the featured artists on stage together to have them share some fun stories of inspiration and connections. As always, there was another unexpected and serendipitous factor to the pairing. Luke had lived in Houston, Texas and Erica is moving there with her boyfriend in a week. So, on top of amazing stories and songs shared on one stage, they have that going for each other moving forward. But seriously, you’d be hard-pressed to find two artists so talented and yet so humbled about their craft and willing to share the love with their friends and creative counterparts. Do yourself a favor and listen to the recording of the show below and then click their official links to check out more of their art (as well as Carl’s too).

So, here it is. The edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 89. Tuesday, August 16, 2016, the night that Erica Wright and Luke Amelang and gang impressed us all, like we were children like Emilia taking in good art for the first time. Feel free to share and enjoy, over and over again.

Before I say goodbye for this round of fun, I’d like to give a big round of thanks for Erica and Luke for sharing their stories, talents, and time with us.

You can read more of Erica’s writing here – ericawright.typepad.com

You can listen to more of Luke’s music here – www.lukeamelang.com

You can listen to this show, edited, soon, alongside the previous shows too, on our website, www.eastsidestorytn.com, at our In Our Own WordsTab – see here – www.eastsidestorytn.com/in-our-own-words

I’ll keep the gratitude going for Tom Eizonas, my lovely wife and most talented artist in Emily Harper Beard (efharper), and everyone that came out live to support the show … and to everyone who has helped continue to spread the word and support the show online afterwards.

I’d also like to show much love to Clay Brunton for the beautiful artwork online to promote the show.

art print by Clay Brunton

art print by Clay Brunton

Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to give one last shout out to Tonya and Chris for making The Post so welcoming and positively life-changing for the East Nashville community at large.

Our next show will be

East Side Storytellin’ 90

Tuesday, September 6th

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Jennifer Justus

singing- American Watermelon

That said- that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 89 and another fabulous event at The Post with East Side Story at the helm. Thanks for coming out and sharing the good word and giving some love to all of these great Nashville artists and our creative ideas. Please remember to be nice to one another out there.

much love,






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